This past Mother’s Day, while walking and drinking our way home from brunch in Hollywood, we (very nearly literally) stumbled across The Larchmont The staff was friendly, The drinks were excellent, and the ambiance was comfortable and charming. We were bound to return.
The thing is, this was The Larchmont’s first brunch, and was a special thing for Mother’s Day. They would be opening for brunch regularly in a few weeks. We made mental note of this and decided to call a few weeks later and find out if they were open.
Fast forward to this past Sunday. We were trying to decide where to go for brunch, when we remembered The Larchmont. We called, asked, and were informed that this was the first of their now regular Sunday brunches. We were also informed that we could bring our dog, Flaca, which was a huge plus.
We made ourselves more or less human, grabbed the dog, and off we went.
What is Cava?
And more importantly, why do I mention it in the middle of a restaurant review? Well, to answer the first question first: Cava is the Spanish (mostly Catalonian) version of Champagne. It tends to be a tad drier (more tart) than either Champagne or Prosecco.
As to the second question, the answer is forthcoming.
When we arrived at The Larchmont, Mia, the manager, was there to greet us. “I met you guys on Mother’s Day,” she smiled. And so she had. She’d been part of the friendly staff that prompted our return.
Since we had Flaca with us, we selected a table in the corner of the patio, under a ceiling fan. We quickly found a place to tie Flaca and began to peruse the menus. The important menus. The drink menus.
I ordered a mimosa and Sharyn, after much back and forth with our waiter, Arley, decided on the “Rain Water,” which she described here on Monday. Arley even got in on the action by playing bartender with round two or three. He makes a MEAN Rain Water!! Thanks Arley!!
But before our drinks had a chance to arrive, we realized something important. The ceiling fan above us was moving at a snail’s pace and almost completely failing to provide any relief from the heat.
The staff tried to crank up the fan to no avail. But they had an even better solution: the upstairs balcony. So we untied Flaca and proceeded up the stairs to a much cooler table, with a view of the Hollywood hills.
And then the drinks arrived. If you followed the link above, you know all about Sharyn’s drink. My mimosa, however, was a tad more orange in color than I’m accustomed to. But it was delicious.
Turns out, they use Cava instead of Champagne or Prosecco, the additional acidity allowing them to use a tad more orange juice without making the mimosas too sweet. It’s just that kind of touch — one of many as we would soon learn — that makes brunch here so special.
And yes, that’s why I mentioned Cava earlier ;-).
OK, So What About the Food?
Glad you asked! Short version: it’s our new favorite LA brunch, and one of our favorites anywhere. Long-winded, borderline bombastic version:
You can check out the brunch menu at The Larchmont here.
One important thing to note: The Larchmont makes everything that can be made in house, in house. That includes the sausages, the bacon, and the ham.
For Sharyn, the choice was obvious. The only lunch item on the menu was the burger. And it is a very strong contender for best burger in LA. (If we had one complaint. . .and I mean just one. . .it would be that there were not enough lunch options. But if Sharyn HAD to order this every weekend, she would be OK with that!!)
Flavorful beef cooked perfectly rare and french fries with just the right amount of crispiness. The chef even managed to slip in a few slices of cucumber which added a delicious little extra crunch.
I went with the crepe, which it turns out is rather a small dish, so I ordered the pork sausage to go with it.
The crepe was an amazing balancing act. SO many flavors and textures in one dish, with none overpowering the others. Quite a feat when truffles are involved, and accomplished brilliantly.
And to top it off, it all went perfectly with the sausage, which was a melange of spices in its own right and was also the perfect size to complete the course.
We had decided early on that we would get “the Stoner” for dessert. The name alone made this dish intriguing, and the description sealed the deal (Peanut Butter Crunch French Toast, Maple Bacon, Roasted Banana). There was simply no way we were not getting one. So we ordered one to share for dessert.
For a bit extra you can get this with 2 oz. foie gras, but stuffed as we were, that will have to wait until next time!! As a matter of fact, we have friends coming in from Australia in a few weeks. . . I think I know what we have in store for them.
All told, we can’t recommend this brunch enough. And we strongly recommend uber’ing it over so you can enjoy their drink menu responsibly.